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Least lily-livered memoirist since T. E. Lawrence, Gilbert Stuart starts out smashing, thrashing and bashing coolies with bloody abandon in this account of his long love affair with China. In 1938, as boss of Hong Kong Mines, Stuart hired the scum of the earth to work for him, then had to truncheon his crews into working shape. But Stuart isn't all bad, and performs heroically when rescuing coolies from a collapsed shaft. An Australian, Stuart is consumed by hatred for the Japanese, who raped his fiancee in 1936 (before she left Stuart to marry a British officer). He kills his first Jap with a knife while the soldier is attempting to rape a Chinese girl, who is a uerrila contact. (She reveals that the coolie miners he beats call him ""tse-shing-whoo""--kind-hearted tiger--because he slaps them with one hand and gives a bowl of rice with the other.) He quits the mine, steals fourteen cases of dynamite and, realizing his greatest dream, joins the Chinese guerrillas. Soon, like Lawrence, he is helping leaders plan raids and Japs are dying like surprised flies. He eats dogs, ills, raids, kills Chinese too, works his way up to become a commanding officer in the Chinese Fifth Army, and eventually marries an American OSS girl he meets on V-J ay in Kunming. It's all faster than fiction and twice as startling.

Publisher: Little, Brown